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Pressure Cooker Pork Carnitas

  • Author: Joanie Simon
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 mins
  • Yield: 40 tacos 1x


Easy fall-off-the-bone pork carnitas with traditional flavors made in a flash in the pressure cooker.


  • 13 lb bone-in skin-on picnic shoulder pork roast
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 1 Tbs dried oregano (or 3 Tbs fresh)
  • 2 Tbs salt
  • 1 Tbs chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 white onions, halved
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves removed from skins
  • 5 oranges, quartered
  • 4 cups water


  1. *This is using a stove top 20 quart pressure cooker (read blog post at for alternative suggestions for electric pressure cookers and smaller roasts)
  2. Heat pressure cooker over high on the stove top and add in oil
  3. Once oil is heated, add the roast in to sear off the meat sides (the skin side does not need to be seared). Searing should take 2 – 3 minutes on either side to get a little bit of browning and to seal in moisture into the roast.
  4. Then add in 1 Tbs dried oregano, 2 Tbs salt, 1 Tbs chile powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 white onions, 1 head’s worth of garlic cloves, 5 oranges and 4 cups of water.
  5. Place lid on top of the pressure cooker according to manufacturer’s directions and leave the stove top on high heat until the pressure rises in the cooker to 10 – 12 PSI. Once is reaches that range, reduce the heat on the stovetop to medium to medium low heat to maintain 10 – 12 PSI. You do not want to exceed 15 PSI.
  6. Once the seal is made and the locking mechanism pops on the lid, start the timer for 3.5 hours (or 15 minutes per 1 lb of your roast).
  7. Once the time is up, remove the pressure cooker from the heat and allow the PSI to reduce to 0. This can happen by just leaving it alone or using the pressure release.
  8. Once the PSI is at 0 and you can remove the lid, then remove the roast (probably will remove in pieces because it will be so tender). Leave the juices, oranges and onions in the pot.
  9. Shred the meat of the roast, discarding excess fat and skin and bones.
  10. Chop the shredded meat and douse with some of the cooking liquids from the pressure cooker.
  11. Serve with tortillas, guacamole, picked red onions, cilantro and any other favorite taco accompaniments.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Mexican